Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that hospitals across the state, especially those in hard-hit areas such as Roseburg, will receive a boost in medical personnel to respond to the surge of COVID-19 cases.
This comes as the state finalizes a contract with Jogan Health Solutions, a medical staffing company, to send out a total of 500 health care workers to hospitals and long-term health care facilities in central and southern Oregon.
Oregon officials have also worked out a contract with AMN Healthcare for an additional 60 nurses and clinical positions. The exact positions and locations for the positions are still being determined.
The bolstering of staff comes as hospitalizations have jumped more than 990% since July 9.
“The deployment of crisis response teams should provide some welcome relief to our hospitals, particularly in Central and Southern Oregon, that are overwhelmed given the recent surge in hospitalizations among mostly unvaccinated individuals,” Brown said. “The hospital crisis we are facing isn’t just about beds — it’s about having enough trained health care professionals to treat patients. I am so pleased that we will be able to provide these resources to help our hospitals and long-term care facilities meet increased demand and can continue to provide vital health care to Oregonians.”
The contract with Jogan Health Solutions will send hospital crisis response teams to CHI Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg. Additional teams will be sent to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and Providence-Medford Health Center in Medford, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Asante Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland and the St. Charles Health System in the Bend and Richmond areas.
The response teams will be supported by up to 300 registered nurses in medical-surgical, emergency departments and critical care. Along with 20 paramedics, 61 certified nursing assistants, 34 respiratory therapists and five medical technicians. The response team personnel will move to other hospitals if needed.
Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said the teams come at a dire time.
“This is a much-needed infusion of qualified medical personnel that can help us get through this critical time in the COVID-19 pandemic,” Allen said. “These crisis teams will be completely re-deployable. We will be working with the Regional Resource Hospitals and Incident Management Team to move hospital crisis teams to other hospitals and long-term care crisis teams to other long-term care facilities, where the need is greatest.”
A total of 10 long-term care crisis teams will also be sent to facilities across the state to help build capacity and get patients discharged. Teams will consist of three registered nurses and five certified nursing assistants.